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Re: Functional Paradigm popularity and Maths (Was: XML as a transition to s-expr)
- To: Scott McKay <address@hidden>
- Subject: Re: Functional Paradigm popularity and Maths (Was: XML as a transition to s-expr)
- From: Paul Graham <address@hidden>
- Date: Thu, 20 Dec 2001 10:47:07 -0800 (PST)
- Cc: address@hidden
- In-reply-to: <email@example.com>
- Sender: address@hidden
Do you mean that the current development team for
Lotus Notes is no good, or the original authors were
no good? I have no trouble believing the former.
Good software is often *inherited* by mediocre
hackers, e.g. if a startup is bought, or even just
gradually stagnates. In that case it is still mostly
the original authors who are affecting the world,
even if they don't work for the company anymore.
>From what I've heard the original authors of Notes
were actually smart guys.
I suspect you just don't get mediocre programmers
writing software used by a million people. Except
--- Scott McKay <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> At 12:38 PM 12/20/01, Paul Graham wrote:
> >What matters here is not just how many lines of software
> >are written by idiots, but how many lines of software used
> >by how many people. To write this I'm using Yahoo Mail,
> >via Netscape, running on FreeBSD. That's a lot of lines
> >of software used by a lot of people, none of it written by
> >If good hacker X writes 25x more software than bad hacker Y,
> >and X's software is used by 10000x more people, then X has
> >the same effect on the world as a quarter of a million Ys.
> >I think that's what David was getting at.
> It's hard to figure out what lesson to learn from this. There's
> plenty of bad software in widespread use written by mediocre
> hackers. Lotus Notes, for example, is largely written by
> people who weren't very good; I have been told this by several
> people who worked on the Notes team, and quit in disgust.
> I guess you are saying "has [an] effect" the same way that,
> say, Osama bin Laden might be Time's "Man of the Year"?
> If 10 bad hackers are not very productive, but manage to get
> out something that 1,000,000 people use, then they "obviously"
> outweigh 1 great hacker who does something brilliant that
> happens not to catch on.
> Does this mean we should go with the 10 bad hackers? Nope,
> you should always go with great ones, because the number
> of people who use something is contingent on more than just
> the quality of the software...
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